Hello again to today's Bolivia for Kids Blog. Today we'll talk about another member of Bolivia's Wacky Wildlife. But first, here's a question. I know I normally ask one at the end of each blog but today let's start now. How many bears are there in Bolivia? This is an easy one. Why? You ask. Well, it's because there is only one bear in Bolivia, and here it is.
The Spectacled Bear
The spectacled bear is the last of the short-faced bear species. It is a relative to both the extinct Florida spectacled bear and the giant short-faced bear that lived millions of years ago in the Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene age during the Ice Age.
Spectated bears are the only bears in Bolivia and arguably the largest land carnivore on the continent. The reason I said "arguably" the largest land carnivore on the continent is because only 5% of its diet is meat, but I guess that still counts. It is also the third heaviest creature in South America. It gets its name from the fur coloring that makes it look as though it is wearing spectacles, as seen in the attached picture.
They live alone and usually don't assist other spectated bears in hunting but they are not territorial creatures and will let other spectacled bears into their territory. (So long as they behave). It's a highly adaptable animal and can live anywhere from the high Andes Mountains to cloud forests to shrub deserts.
Spectacled bears mate almost any time of year, though mostly during April and June near the beginning of the wet season when fruit gets ripe. Births usually occur during December and February in the dry season. Image Source.
So I hope you enjoyed today's installment of our Bolivian Wacky Wildlife series and what a wacky creature! I sure know I haven't seen any other bears wearing spectacles. So as I laugh at my own unfunny joke I'd like to close with another question. Is this species endangered or not?
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